Andrew E. Clancy

ANDREW E. CLANCY (1876 - 1917)

Andrew Edwin was born in the Derbyshire village of Duffield, on 10 June 1876. By the time he was four years old, Andrew was living with his five older siblings and his parents - Police Constable James and housewife Rose Hannah - at 19 Nixon Street in Macclesfield.

As a young man, Andrew worked as an attendant in an 'asylum' in Cheadle; probably the "Manchester Royal Lunatic Asylum". He later moved on to work at the newly opened Winwick Asylum in Warrington. We do not know how long Andrew worked as an attendant but on 30 May 1907, he stepped off the White Star passenger ship, Cymric, in Boston, Massachusetts having sailed from Liverpool. The ship's records show the unmarried Andrew, aged twenty nine, travelled with £15 in his pocket. Andrew, who declared he was able to both read and write, gave his profession as a labourer who was heading for Toronto, in the Canadian province of Ontario, as his ultimate destination.

Andrew, however, did not settle in Toronto. He ended up living in Saskatchewan where he established a good business as a homestead farmer in the farming community of Riverhurst. However, on learning of the execution of the British nurse Edith Cavell, Andrew decided to sell his business and enlist in the army. On 14 January 1916, having moved to the southern-central province city of Moose Jaw, Andrew enlisted in the 28th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, Saskatchewan Regiment. Standing at five foot nine inches, the healthy farmer passed the physical assessment with ease and was sent with his Regiment back to England in order to carry out final training prior to being posted.

About ten weeks after landing in France, Andrew's Regiment engaged in the Battle of Hill 70, fighting five divisions of the German Sixth Army. Fighting broke out on 15 August 1917, just outside the town of Lens in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and before long the 28th Battalion were pushing through Nun's Alley and the German held Cinnabar Trench. Short of bombs and with throwers unable to out throw the enemy, the Canadians were under a great deal of pressure; many died. On 22 August, Andrew was 'Killed in Action'.

Andrew has no known resting place. It is likely he was buried close to where he fell since in the War Diaries of the 28th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Major Reginald V. Blackburn recounts:

"...relief orders were received. These Orders required all wounded to be evacuated and all dead to be buried before the Company vacated the area....A burial party under Cpl Doonbar[?] buried all dead and marked [the] location of the graves" (August 1917, p.46)

Andrew is commemorated, along with eleven thousand other Canadian soldiers, on the ramparts of the Vimy Memorial, Pas-de-Calais. He is also remembered on the World War memorial to the servicemen from Riverhurst who lost their lives in battle.

When the military authorities contacted Andrew's parents to notify them of his death (Andrew had given his mother, Rose, as his next-of-kin on his attestation form), they discovered each parent was dead. Consequently, his sister Ellen was identified as his nearest living relative. Probate, on 1 January 1918, left a total of £30 to his brother Thomas and Nathan Dixon, the husband of Ellen.

Riverhurst Memorial
Riverhurst, SK © cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca

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